[forgive me for lack of nuance, but:]
Our Heroes, having escaped from their dungeon homes by the mysterious tiefling mage Athrow Heretan, traveled by carriage through the dusty desert plains for a while before they were stopped and their camels slaughtered. They found themselves surrounded by jackalweres, and heard a woman’s voice call out: “Leaving so soon?”
Pique kicked the carriage door open and hopped out, only to see a large lamia and, worse, the Lich King Denegar floating beside her. Our Heroes quickly tried to determine what to do, but after Athrow insisted again and again that the Lich King wasn’t supposed to be here at all, Brandis’ curiosity got the better of him and he took a reeeal good look and discovered that the lich wasn’t there at all—it was an illusion!
With that in mind, Brandis told the lamia to take him: “I’m the one that you want,” he announced, and walked away from the carriage with his hands up. The jackalwere followed close behind, and circled around. Meanwhile, Kittibuss and Athrow snuck around behind the carriage (well, Kittibuss tried to sneak) and removed some weapons from the trunk in the back). After asserting that the others were indeed going to leave, Brandis then unleashed two massive fireballs at the lamia and her jackalwere companions, killing the jackalwere instantly and severely burning the lamia, who managed to roll away without taking the brunt of the fire. The lich king turned out to be an illusion after all, and vanished.
She then started running away, and Our Heroes attacked her with various amounts of success, save for Pique, who fell flat on his face and got dirt in his eyes. Brandis asked her to relent. “Why don’t you drive our carriage for us, since you killed our camels?” he asked. The lamia replied with, “Why don’t you look behind you?”
Behind them were ten giant scorpions.
In response to this, Athrow barely killed the lamia, and seven of the ten scorpions vanished, leaving three to be dealt with. Athrow unleashed a cone of cold, severely injuring two. Pique punched one so hard he stunned it, and then leaped onto its back and plunged its own stinger into its flesh, nearly poisoning it.
A scorpion stabbed Pique with its stinger and injected venom into his body, leaving him nearly dead. He rushed off to the carriage to try and find something to heal himself, and found a potion of healing in the back trunk.
Another scorpions stung Kittibuss and its venom was powerful enough to knock her unconscious, nearly killing her. Brandis burned a hole through one of them with a scorching ray, splitting it in twain. And then I think he killed the other one too, but I can’t remember how exactly.
After this, the group was safe, but also exhausted and trapped in the desert. Athrow searched through the carriage trunk and discovered that someone (probably the driver) had stolen the two canteens and several healing potions that were stored there. He then told them to walk south, as they were closer to the fringes of grassland than they thought. Pique carried the unconscious Kittibuss and Athrow brought some bedrolls, and they walked for six hours until it became close to nightfall. They had passed into the grasslands and spent some time searching for a suitable place to camp, and Brandis luckily found a grotto eroded into a long rock that seemed to be sticking out of the ground. They all settled in for the night and discovered a goblin, Gerkut, who was alone and not hostile.
As they rested, Athrow cast Detect Magic on the dagger the lamia had, discovering that it had some magical properties. He also detected magic coming from the grotto itself, and we will discover what that is … NEXT WEEK.